Fellaini closing in on China move after Man Utd agree deal

Joe Williams

Marouane Fellaini is edging closer to moving to China after Manchester United reached an agreement with Shandong Luneng.

The 31-year-old’s exit has looked increasingly likely as discussions with the Chinese Super League built in recent days.

Fellaini now appears set to end his five-and-a-half year stay at Old Trafford as Press Association Sport understands that United have reached an agreement in principle regarding his sale to Shandong.

It is understood that the Belgium international has already passed a medical, leaving paperwork and final terms to iron out.

Fellaini posted an Instagram photo of himself at an airport on Thursday morning, with the phrase “let’s go” written across it.

Chinese Super League clubs have until February 28 to complete signings and it is understood another club has been monitoring the midfielder’s situation.

Fellaini was a key player under Jose Mourinho and signed a new deal until 2020, with the option of another year, in the summer.

The midfielder has only managed 31 minutes since Ole Gunnar Solskjaer took caretaker charge last month, although a calf injury has ruled him out of recent matches.

Solskjaer said at the start of the week that he did not expect any United exits before Thursday’s English transfer deadline and was coy about the Belgium international’s future following Tuesday’s 2-2 draw with Burnley.

Asked if there was anything he could say on Fellaini, the caretaker manager said: “To be honest, no.

“I’ve been busy all day and I don’t really know the latest update on that one. Just wait and see.”

Fellaini’s exit looms just a matter of weeks after Solskjaer bemoaned the absence of the injured midfielder and his “X factor”.

Meanwhile, Manchester United have sent Matty Willock on loan to Crawley for the rest of the season.

After temporary spells with Utrecht, St Johnstone and most recently St Mirren, the 22-year-old has joined the Sky Bet League Two side until the end of 2018-19.

Crawley’s director of football Selim Gaygusuz said: “We are really excited to have such a young and versatile player like Matty joining us for the rest of the season.

“Having come from Manchester United, we know that he has been trained by some world class coaches in multi-million pound facilities, so I’m sure he is well prepared to make an impact for us.

“We really wish him all the best here and hope it is a real success both for him and the club.”

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